The Biggest Dilemma of a Northern Actress

Last week, a follower on Twitter told actress Hadiza Gabon that she should get married after the actress posted a beautiful picture of herself. And why not? She is 28 years old, attractive, well-fed and will look good on somebody’s arms, right? Well, he was blasted- a reaction that was particularly surprising – considering how she is often tagged as patient, considerate and mildly explosive. But then that sort of says something about the world of a northern actress- the world where typical, standard issues like marriage can be, in the absence of a better word, complicated.

One of the many questions that has baffled many biologists and experts is: why are there two genders? Why not one, three or more? And while there is no compelling explanation, our ancestors thought divine design must have created man and woman to have distinct roles in the family and the society at large. Throughout centuries, men have protected and provided for their families, by virtue of their strength, aggression and external orientation. Women, on the other hand, by virtue of their biology and tender nature, have bared children, cooked and looked after the house.

That to them was divine scheme. They had a point. If men and women had similar roles, why were there man and woman in the first place? Why not a single gender since reproduction must not be inevitably sexual. After all, God is capable of everything; Having two genders can’t be a prerequisite of reproduction on his part, God does as he wills. Hence, wisdom behind having man and woman must be, to them, for them to have different roles. From the very onset therefore, a career woman has been seen by many as a threat to divine design.

Economy. Economy, they say is the basis of everything. The first and the second world war had women taking the responsibilities of men in the workplace. These events brought about a significant involvement of women in the workplace and flexibility in the role of man and woman. Recent years show the line between male and female roles becoming blurred. Males are now taking a more active part in homemaking and child rearing and females are thriving in the business and career world.

This, plus the conflict between science and the church are turning points in the history of the world as they marked the beginning of the so-called modern era. The west saw Technology as the only edge they had over the rest of the world and Technology is based on Science, and Science is based on Materialism. Materialism dictates that Morality is but human creation and imagination. Science now brings prosperity and religion is irrelevant. Women had to tear the veil to work in factories, after all, so science dictates, there is no halal or haram, no right or wrong, they are just product of imagination.

This so world modernisation has permeated the world, for the world has to dance according to the conquerors’ tunes, right?
This westernisation has brought so many changes in north. Yet, a typical northerner still respects his religion and cultures and acts within the confines of religion and societal restraints. If you were to summarise all the thinking of typical northerners about what a good life is, you may come to this: A good life balances career with religious and societal values.

Islam for example has instructed women to ‘draw their outer garment’ close around themselves. This is a core and uncompromising feature of Islam. Being a professional actress means you have to expose parts of your body. Your name has to be synonymous with words such as hot, sexy, attractive. To achieve fame and prosperity, you have to take a crazy picture every now and then and post on Instagram. You have to touch the opposite sex, otherwise you will remain a local champion. You have to do things that are outrightly against religion and society even by the interpretations and commentaries of the most liberal clerics and social commentators.

Despite what they do to achieve such fame, the actresses know that, unlike in other cultures and religions, getting married in the north is like going into retirement. They have to avoid the topic with vague answers in interviews which literally means you have to stay virgin if you have to stay in business. Once you are gone, you are gone. Fati KK, Fati Muhd, Rukayya Dawayya and Hauwa Katanga are the living proof that the road back to acting after divorce is a hard one.

This attempt to fit in. This struggle of being what you are not. This balance between career, society and religion is the biggest dilemma, for me, of a northern actress.

By: Anas Abdullahi


Twitter: @a9united1

Movie Review – Mansoor 

“Something different? Not a love story” was the director’s response when he was asked what surprise would audience expect from his latest movie Mansoor. 

His statement could stand a trial because Mansoor, for the most part, is an adventure of an enthusiastic young man in search of his identity. It is an adventure that is triggered by love, fueled by uncertainties and driven by desperation. This adventure leads to another emotional story so expertly told and presented one can’t but appreciate the director’s story telling.

No movie is without flaws, or at least few areas that could use improvements. The good thing with Mansoor is that every single facet is at worst, average. There are few story arcs that are recycled and though I can’t tell whether it is from the movie or the projector, the movie struggled to fit perfectly on the screen. As a result, the subtitle was hardly visible; the colour grading could have been better, the nights and days appeared almost identical.

However, Mansoor has so many strengths to counteract those weaknesses. The excellent production value is at display throughout the movie. Every detail has been attended to. From the sets, to the costumes, to the make up, to the locations.

The director has gotten most out of the actors. The dialogue is refreshing and the delivery, perfect. The scores could have been more frequent. The songs are exciting. The dance sequences are colorful and impeccably acted.

One thing that deserves special mention is the stylish direction. The shots are neat, elegant and stylish. The attention to detail is superb. The way he puts up the story is remarkable. It is said that the act of telling a story is better than the story itself. This statement has never been truer. From the way he mixes voice-over with footage, to the way he motions the camera, to the way he changes the mood and expressions of the actors; it is truly a remarkable piece of directing. 

Spending such a huge amounts on actors that are barely known by audience is a risky business few producers could take. Such boldness could be the reason why FKD has stood the test of time. Can others follow? Only time can tell. 

Mansoor is wonderfully observed, stunningly shot and thanks to so many breakout performances, a must watch in Cinemas. 

Cast: Umar M Shareef, Maryam Yahaya, Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Ahmad, Abba El-Mustapha, Baballe Hayatu, and others. 

Screenplay: Jamil Nafseen. 

Producer: Naziru Dan Hajiya. 

Director: Ali Nuhu

On Rahma Sadau’s Suspension And Ali Nuhu’s Silence


Last week- precisely on 4th of March- Kannywood actress, Rahma Sadau, was suspended by the Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN) for publicly claiming she was de-casted from Adam A Zango’s movie, Duniya Makaranta, after she rejected his romantic advances.

The announcement garnered criticisms from filmmakers; Aminu Saira, Yaseen Auwal, Umar UK, for example, publicly denounced the suspension. This revolutionised a social media campaign against the suspension. Well, as cynical as this may sound, I am here to say something nice about the suspension, so listen very carefully. I think MOPPAN were right about one thing: Rahma Sadau’s misbehavior does ‘warrant’ a punishment- probably less severe than the one given, probably more- but the actress deserves to be punished.

Ultimately, the aim of Punishment is maintenance of public order. When an individual’s intentional action results in somebody else’s discomfort, the scale of Justice is out of balance, and sanctioning that individual restores that balance; hence, Rahma Sadau should pay for her action. The aim of punishment can also be prospective, for it serves as a warning to others and reduces likelihood of future transgressions, thereby promoting social harmony.

Of course she apologised, but apology doesn’t completely revoke punishment. Still, were it a mere abuse, her apology would probably be on equal footing with her misdeed, but it was ‘defamation’, which is far too detrimental to the harmed party, and too insoluble in apologetic solvent; her comments were aimed at damaging his reputation, making them too offensive to go unpunished. That aside, human being of whatsoever status deserves some degree of respect, her comments were too disrespectful.

“the punishment,” some people would say, “is one-sided.” One will have hard time invalidating this assertion, for even a cursory examination of the affair points to this. To begin with, I think pardoning Ali Artwork was not only wrong, it was ridiculous.

As a matter of fact, the whole affair was/is of little interest to me, which might be why when I looked at it, what interested me more than what happened was what didn’t happen. After Adam A Zango laid down his case, you had expect Ali Nuhu to come floating off the mountains scrutinizing every claim Zango made and tearing his pieces apart. Instead, he remained SILENT, and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me.

Instead of ranting and raving about Zango’s comments, Ali Nuhu allowed his true colors to shine through keeping quiet. People may interpret your silence as weakness or fear, but it takes courage to say nothing; here lies your strength. The strong are not always known for their strength, but their discipline and restraint. After all, Silence, they say, is one of the most difficult arguments to refute.

Stooping to his level to depend himself would be a defeat already. “I won’t dignify that with a response” applies here. His response would give Zango’s words an authority they hardly deserve and would become a stumbling block to future resolution. Most third parties would grasp that he didn’t respond not because what Zango said was right, but because his comments hardly warrant a response.

Silence, also, leaves him much less open to further onslaught. Had he spoken, he would have given other snipers consent to fight him, to quote him out of context. Words are powerful and so is knowledge. When you tell people what you are thinking or doing, you are making a decision to empower them with information- and you may unintentionally be giving them ammunition to exploit you. Ali Nuhu’s silence was an excellent choice.

If you are still excitedly talking about this rift, don’t be surprised to see Ali Nuhu posting his picture with Zango tomorrow on Facebook. Silence is golden, exercise it!!!

Written by: Anas Abdullahi
Twitter: @a9united1

Kannywood as Educators of the Society: Fact or Fiction?

The confrontations between Kannywood and social critics seems to have subsided. The critics seem to have succumbed to the fact that while the Hausa movie industry has its ills, its existence and essence in the society is now justifiable: that is, it plays a pivotal role in educating and informing a society that can be correctly described, to a larger extent, as an “ignorant” one.

They had to retreat, for this ‘educating the society’ campaign is tossed into trailers, movies, and interviews. In fact, more than fifty percent of our movies seem dedicated to this campaign, so much that they spend a lot of their running time on fairly irrelevant scenes in which our characters sit around teaching us life advice; also, actors and filmmakers spend most of their interviews blabbering about how their movies promote the society. The enthusiasm is admirable, but still: Does Kannywood bring that much benefits apart from being a mere source of entertainment? Let’s have a look at the current state of things.

With all the hype on education, enlightment, and awareness, one would think our knowledge about the world has increased by many folds; contrarily, the curriculum still revolves around three programs: love, family affairs and fighting families presented in the most conventionally clinched way that exists. No “single” movie has primarily addressed a major problem of our society such as ignorance, disunity, over-parenting, reluctance, etc; or discussed the impacts of modern-day issues such as drug, social media, unemployment, etc; or explored a major medical condition, historical event (ofcourse, with the exception of Ashabul Kahfi). In fact, audience, who have spent chunk of their life immersed in these movies, may still not know that the world is round, or that obesity causes diabetes, or that sickle cell anemia isn’t caused by wizards and witches, but a condition that is actually preventable.

Truth be told, some of the movies actually try; however, they end up lacking depth and deviation from the aforementioned romantic and family dramas. Our movies lack the audacity to deviate from the norm and try something else as they require quantities of songs and cliches to mask preposterous plots and weak dialogue. Jinin Jikina for instance, was supposed to promote girl education; unfortunately, instead of focusing on the central premise, it was served in songs and relationships. When your characters are driven by love, ruled by love and twisted way desperately in love, it’s difficult to believe your movie is about anything else. The world is just too complex, too poetic and too filled with sheer wonder to be dictated by simplistic notions of love and cheap family affairs.

One may argue that film is an image of a particular society and the “timidity” in our film industry is just reflecting an “ignorant” society. In other word, Kannywood is simply showing the reality of our society. Really? If Kannywood is really reflecting our reality, why do all the parents in our movies always have a single son or daughter when a typical Hausa man has many children? Why do most of the rich guys in the movies own a factory when we have handful factories in our community? In fact, since when do people start breaking into a song and dance and become surrounded by backup dancers? Our movies are but mismatch of practices and ideas- some are ours, some are foreign, and some are fictional. It won’t do any harm to add “intelligent” spices.

This ‘educating the society’ isn’t informational but behavioral, then. If nothing else, Kannywood teaches us the profitability of being good, for goodness is always endorsed and rewarded, while badness is condemned and punished. The major setback to this motion is this: the ideas of right and wrong are based on morality, and how ironic does this sound- Kannywood teaching morality? It is no longer deemed inappropriate in Kannywood to dress indecently; Courtship in Kannywood knows no limit; in fact, any sense of decency and reservation in woman, which constitutes an integral part of our identity, is rendered pointless. I find Kannywood assisting in making our culture to become, over time, debased.

The most troubling aspect is how actresses are shown as lustrous objects through near-nude dresses, enticing walks and dances. Spreading these images may incur serious ethical and spiritual ramifications. Call it traditional if you have to- or local if you must to- but it’s “islamic” that women dress properly. I could remember one of our filmmakers saying ‘his becoming a filmmaker’ was motivated by the will to counteract debauched western practices by, I suppose, vindicating our cultural and religious practices; the major criticism you hear of the west is their engrossment in lust- so now, is this wanton and blatant display of women promoting or sabotaging western practice? Our filmmakers need to inquire into this famous movie quote “the story isn’t the message.”

May be I am being too harsh on Kannywood, but when “education” is mentioned, mental and moral development naturally come to mind. let me, at this critical moment, try not to give in to one of the things they teach me, you know, being ‘narrow’ (pls if I am, try to forgive me, I watched a lot of these movies). How about inspiration? Yes inspiration! for, artistry, they say, is the ability to inspire. The first category of people we should expect to get traces of this sample from is the youth; so now, does Kannywood inspire our youth to be great? I will have to go with ‘no’.

In place of teaching our youth the priorship of duty, responsibility and hardwork, Kannywood is teaching our youth that love is the prime objective in life. Our youth are taught that parents are “enemies” standing in the way of true love. Our youth are taught that educational institutions aren’t learning centres but love zones. Our youth are taught that love is above everything and everyone. Take Daga Ni Sai Ke for instance: the film was ranked ‘the most educative film of 2013’, yet, one of its characters- a professional doctor for that matter- “intentionally” married a woman with HIV putting his “love” above his life, personal and social responsibility. This isn’t only stereotypically childish but also an abuse to humanity.

For children, Kannywood is deeply corrosive. Nowadays, some of the “hit” movies (Zawarawa, Ali yaga Ali, etc) are centred around premarital/extramarital affairs in which sexually suggestive scenes and comments run throughout the movies. Our children may internalise these languages and scenes, and….. You know what? Let’s just call it a day.

But let’s answer this: Does Kannywood “educate” the society- well, not in the informational, moral and inspirational sense of the word. But you never know with these people. If they can turn a “bokoless” into a billionaire in matter of seconds, and vice versa, you won’t know the direction they will approach this one.

Written by: Anas Abdullahi
Twitter: @a9united1

How Indian-Hausa Films Highlight Some Problems Of Kannywood

Anyone, who has written about Nigeria in the last 10 years will probably tell you this: While the population has tremendously increased, the standard of living of the populace and the societal rest have proportionately gone down.

One wouldn’t be entire incorrect if one says the same on Kannywood in 2014. On one hand, the industry can boast of releasing over 1000 movies, but on the other, few of these figures were tolerable, and fewer were true entertainments.

It wasn’t a surprise then, to have this thriving industry on its knee as the result of infiltration of Indian movies translated (or rather lip-synched) into Hausa Language. This more cut-throat form of piracy which adds to the ever-present menace of piracy can be partly attributed to the neglect of Government, with Kannywood carrying the rest of the blame.

Actor Ali Nuhu recently suggested that the shift from DVD to cinema is the strategy he thinks would transcend the industry to the next level. He was right. But then again, how many movies are cinema worthy? I think it’s futile if tons of movies are released every monday when they lack the qualities movies need to stand. Kannywood needs to limit production and ensure better quality. Production of atleast marginally quality movies is one challenge India-Hausa movies can’t counteract.

The second issue India-Hausa films expose is lack of genre movies in Kannywood. Our movie industry and its people are terribly stereotyped into feeding us with unrealistic comedies and larger-than-life dramas which in turn have given nothing but predictable plots and resolutions. Our people are in the state of despair and frustration. They need entertainments to serve as an escape hatch for them to forget their worries and tensions, even if its effect last for few hours. Kannywood lacks enough entertainment genres. The industry needs to pay attention to aspects such as props, effects, etc so as to give audience variety of genres to choose from depending on individual moods. Genres such as sci-fi, horror, thriller, actions, etc are one reason why people go for India-Hausa movies. This could explain why movies such as Jarumin Maza, Basaja were successful.

It can’t be overemphasized that Kannywood movies are too tired in concepts and executions. The writing is often lazy and systematically written to go with the imagination of the audience, for they watch similar versions before. Upon closer look, you find little creativity in the industry. Filmmaking is for the dynamic not the dormant; it’s about constantly experimenting ideas and concepts, unfortunately that’s not the case in Kannywood. Writers often trash any ingenuity and model all their characters as complete stereotypes. Also, they follow easy routes when relating their stories in aspects such as dialogue, symbolism, artistic description, interweaving of characters, etc. This blatant embrace of commerce over art makes Kannywood movies more and more tired.

There is no real professionalism in the executing department either. Every Buba and Tanko claims to be a director the moment they sit down and tell a cameraman off the street to shoot. Few directors seem to pay attention to the standard of the scripts, to lightning, sound production, appropriateness of location to the theme of the movie. After some accidental success, some directors/producers even guise under their last success to create a similar story, which is often annoying. Few directors have the idea to create a spark between their characters and the viewers. Audience needs fresh stories, casts, locations, and because they inevitably have to watch, switch to India-Hausa films.

The fourth element in this cocktail is the unnecessary splitting of movies into two. Our movies show unconnected scenes and dedicate several minutes on these scenes just to have enough footage to split. I think it’s irrelevant for a movie that’s rarely upto two hours of normal time to be split into several parts simply because the producers want more money. Most people prefer watching a complete movie at once, and this puts India-Hausa films at advantage. Our producers must understand that its high time they realise the importance of giving audience what they want. Kannywood shouldn’t continue to be tied down by this archaic tradition, it is time to break free. I think only very substantial movies should be split, if necessary.

Another element which I think has a pivotal role to play in the subject is the industry’s inability to truly expand. I think Kannywood needs to uplift and motivate its middle class because the performance of any organization is mostly evaluated by the activity of this class; for they are the majority, and most of the products come from them. We can’t be all at the top at the same time. However, If we are ahead and do not have the humility to share our opportunity with those coming along, then we have learned very little. Kannywood will continue to favor Quantity over Quality if this voluntary or involuntary monopoly remains unrelaxed. Even people that initiated the idea of India-Hausa flicks are said to be people rejected by the Industry. The only way to maintain a level of integrity is to have creative commons otherwise the bad works will forever label the industry.

I will also encourage players in the industry to remember our heritage because film goes beyond entertainment. It’s a cultural brand that signifies a people and their background, their origin and who they are, as well as rudiments to sustain their future generation. The only thing, one could argue, that shows most Kannywood movies as being belongings of Hausawa is the language. And now that foreign movies speak Hausa Language, that only advantage is equaled.

The infiltration of India-Hausa flicks signals the dampening of enthusiasm of the public. Players, who are not too high in the clouds to see that anything may be wrong with Kannywood, should work together towards maintaining a level of integrity and genuineness that will invite and encourage growth of the industry. We look forward to this in 2015.

Like Kannywoodscene On Facebook

Written by: Anas Abdullahi
Twitter: @a9united1

Ali Nuhu Takes A New Challenge With FKD’s Upcoming GAMU NAN DAI

If you are worried that FKD Production is dipping into the same old wells too often (“NI DAKE MUN DACE” “SIRRIN DAKE RAINA,” et al), the announcement of the Production’s GAMU NAN DAI may give you a pause.

Officially announced by the Production head Ali Nuhu on twitter six days ago, and to star Ali Nuhu, Nuhu Abdullahi, Ramadan Booth, Shamsu Dan’iya, Abdul M Shareef, Garzali Miko, Haruna Talle Mai Fata; GAMU NAN DAI is an educating movie that will perform ‘reality check’ on the socioeconomic and cultural state and state of mind of our youths. Speaking briefly after the announcement, Ali Nuhu told Kannywoodscene that GAMU NAN DAI will be about 5 ghetto boys who feel money is the ultimate goal in life and go out on expedition that will turn their life around.

FKD Production is under criticism for being too self-indulgent in romantic genre, but Ali Nuhu quickly reputed this claim when Kannywoodscene asked him whether this sudden slide into a new genre was triggered by the aforementioned allegation, “I don’t believe this. No body can change my mindset as a filmmaker. Most people saying this are incapable of making their own thinking; they are simply being stereotypic. How can you watch movies like SANSANI, SAI WATA RANA, DIJANGALA, CARBIN KWAI, MADUBIN DUBAWA, ADAMSY and tell me they belong to the same genre. This is grossly unacceptable” he said.

Ali Nuhu is among the very few filmmakers with sheer boldness of experimenting new actors and ideas. It was through similar experiments that great artists were born, such as Adam A Zango, Nazifi Asnanic, Umar M Shareef, Nafisat Abdullahi, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Rahma Sadau (who at this point counts more as a good-luck charm for any casting agents than anything else). Kannywoodscene went on to ask him why he is embracing the challenge again on this one, and he remarked, “There is a need to promote young and upcoming talents. Secondly, assembling so many established actors in a movie isn’t a good idea any longer commercially and artistically.”

This seems a very risky proposal- not only with the casting of an almost-all upcoming actors- but also with the seeming violation of FKD’s “Entertainment first and foremost” trademark. The director, however, remains optimistic that the concept and uniqueness of the movie will compensate these disadvantages, “You see GAMU NAN DAI is a unique one from FKD Production. It has a topical subject not just the usual love stories or family drama. I believe it will be its own kind.”

Popularity is a fickle mistress, but the only way GAMU NAN DAI can attain the popularity of FKD’s previous releases is, by reckoning, if it delivers its promise. The movie’s delights are intended to come from its youthful heart and its willingness to depart from formular. The task of director Ali Nuhu and his assistant Alfazazee Muhammad is clear, namely: treatment of the material as socially relatable as possible and inspiration of the movie’s young actors to firmly fix the movie’s youthful soul for the youth it is apparently set out at.

2014 has been without FKD movie. SIRRIN DAKE RAINA was originally scheduled for November release but was later pushed to 2015, leaving the Production with no new movie for a complete year for the first time in nearly six years. With GAMU NAN DAI scheduled for 20th to 30th December shoot, and another movie HALACCI earlier shot by FKD’s affliated Production Nuhu MovieTone, Ali Nuhu is already having three movies in 2015.

Like Kannywoodscene on Facebook

Written by: Anas Abdullahi
Twitter: @a9united1

Best Five Kannywood Movies of 2013

This is the first of Kannywoodscene’s discussion of some events, movies and performance of actors in 2013. This article focuses on the movies. We present you two categories here: the first is our selection of the best five movies of 2013, the second is our selection of the top five movies that didn’t live up to expectation.

Five Best Movies

LAMIRAJ: Making a decent movie is easy and safe. Making one people will cherish for the rest of their lives involves a risk and willingness to treat them as more than just less intelligent vessels. In an attempt to solve multi-dimensional problems of the world, science evolves technologies. While science operates in material realm, Islam operates in spiritual realm. Hence, those evolved technologies seldom clash with islamic principles. Moving away from overly simple stories found sensible by kids who can count their ages in one finger, LAMIRAJ brings an islamic review of one of those technological practice- Assisted Reproductive Technology(ART): Islam safeguards the lineage and keeps the family unambiguously defined without any foreign element entering it.Starring Ali Nuhu, Nafisat Abdullahi, Rahama Hassan, written by Yakubu M Kumo and directed by Aminu Saira, Lamiraj takes an adult themes- including fate, identity, motherhood- and makes them accessible without lessening their impact. LAMIRAJ works, and even if it doesn’t, it deserves an extra star for trying some no any other movie has ever tried, let alone pulled off.

WANI GARI:Written by Yakubu M Kumo, directed by Yaseen Auwal, WANI GARI is the first kannywood movie to utilise and explore its village settings since Tsangaya. It features many characters, each of which is marvellously distinct and well-crafted. Each of them has his own style, tone and character design but at no any time do any of them clash or fight one another- instead they all come playfully and make for great moments. Its swearing to authenticity allows it to send its narratives to fantastic heights without seeming phony. There is never a dull moment in WANI GARI especially when Sadiq Sani Sadiq is on screen, and he is on screen a lot. It takes each joke, each moment and builds on it to push its story and characters further. That it addresses the whole topic of inheritance and that it may also teach children, and perhaps remind grown-ups what it truly means to be honest, honourable, loyal and fair is a bonus in its sweetly laid-back way.

NI DAKE MUN DACE: For all his technical wizardly, what always made Ali Nuhu a successful director was the human element- he knows how to tell us about people, capable performance makes his job easy in NI DAKE MUN DACE. One of the things that makes NI DAKE MUN DACE is its wonderful character development. Not only are those characters beautifully illustrated with depth and personality, NI DAKE MUN DACE utilises them to their greatest extent, not only fitting them into the larger story seamlessly, but also provides each one with full arc to play with. With infinite warmth toward its characters, whip-smart humor and plea for human compassion, NI DAKE MUN DACE is complemented by a top notch production value. It’s so attuned to the way modern audience watch genre films that there are times when it seems to anticipate our objections and tease them out so that it can answer it later, to our satisfaction(when a moment feels a bit off, there’s reason for its off-ness). The film tweaks all the subplot it had begun and wraps is up rather neatly.

MAKAHON GIDA: MAKAHON GIDA is not only a tense, impeccably acted drama but also fulfils core value of Hausa filmmaking that’s practically forgotten. It shows how man, even the most complete of men is ambushed by one of the traps of the Shaytan and projects the necessity of following Shari’ah ahead of societal convention for Islam, it is a blueprint of societal balance. one of its characteristic being that it never for an instant, forgets the nature of man, or the limits of his capability. MAKAHON GIDA leaves the daring to the plot itself and allows the precision of the story be what blows you away. The most impressive thing about the film is that its characters are relatable, human and easy accessible and not biased. It seals the three stories it brings nicely but takes the viewer on a roller-coaster of emotional ride before arriving at those endings. It is certainly among Aminu Saira’s best works- he mixes tones brilliantly and is able to orchestrate emotions with soft and jagged camera movement. Doing it in a wrong way could result to something insensitive, foolish and overdone but Aminu Saira is too good at filmmaking to let that happen.

DA KISHIYAR GIDA: the film may be a bit thin in places but it gets better performance. Like any Mai Kwai Movie, you always get the feeling that there is some real investment in this movie. It utilises its feminine talent by approaching comedy with woman’s sensibility. Carrying the movie is exactly what Aina’u Ade does, her talent is undeniable. She shines in a role that is equal parts comedy and drama, in a movie that hits all the right notes to be exactly the kind of story I’d like to hope women are waiting for.

Top five movies that didn’t live up to expectation

BAKIN ZINARE: It’s hard to dismiss a movie in which multiple verses are quoted. Yes! BAKIN ZINARE has millions of ideas and it tries to do all of it at once, yet it couldn’t have teased out a coherent plot or relatable characters to go along with it. Imran S.I Ashir may be the only director on earth who thinks that many disparate plot elements should be in a single movie, but he is definitely not capable of making sense of them. It not only forgets to be cinematic by infusing any entertainment value, but the way the tension, the chaos and the crowd are depicted is terrible as its sloppy cinematography is roughly slammed together to create one incoherent scene after another. Despite the way it didn’t connect, you are sure to forgive it. BAKIN ZINARE is a kind of work that deserves some applause, the kind of filmmaking that teeters right on the edge of being revolutionary.

ZURIA: ZURI’A has technical exuberance of all films in FKD catalogue but there’s just a big “something is missing” written all over it. There is just one scene in ZURI’A that has any emotional traction and that can be a bad news for the professed tearjearker. The key issue with the movie is Zainab Indomie, not only her character is uninspiring, bit wobbly with inconsistencies, culturally drawn out(fashion designer) but also that she can’t pack any real punch into the character of career-minded girl who must prepare herself to play mother against all odds. Saddled with a screenplay that simply doesn’t provide the instant invigoration of the original film, ZURIA would have worked a lot better if it replaced those awful dialogues with something less tin-eared.

MATAR HAMZA: Matar Hamza relies too often on stock characters and easy story complication to follow through anything that is different. Some strange coincidence- and some sloppy screenwriting shortcut- bring Ali Nuhu and Fati Ladan and without knowing who, what and where of their situation, we stumble into the big, wild world. What is most shocking is the director’s apparent lack of command over the story that sprawls in various directions without saying much. This is Aminu Saira- could he not see that he lacked a firm grip on his film’s narrative? May be it is coupled by the camera that often feels too stagnant, Fati Ladan that seems too bland and sugary, the bizarre editing or the script which needed more passes to streamline and solidify a more compelling one-act structure. The film’s climax, which includes one twist you definitely saw coming- that she was going to let him believe she was cheating on him, now didn’t she? Bery of stars and few moral lessons guaranteeing you won’t feel a bit different than you did when walking into it.

OGA ABUJA: OGA ABUJA is too good to be disappointing. It settles for so much less than it could be, and in doing so, cheats its characters, its audience and its credibility. It stars an array of talented actors like Ali Nuhu, Ibro, John Okafor,etc, unfortunately the script squanders their talents and gives them little opportunity to inject much of their own personality. Their characters are running empty and there is nothing any of these talented people could have done to save them. The director is incapable of getting his point across through the story and so he simply throws a bunch of images and speeches on screen and then resort to incessant narration to connect them. OGA ABUJA doesn’t stop for breathes or pause to consider the physics of its stunts. It just goes and goes and goes blending word gag, sight gag, physical comedy and strange accent until the final credits role.

NAS: There is something appealing about watching a movie you don’t have to use any brain power to get something out of it. The problem with NAS is that it can’t live up to its bottom expectation. Let me just write it off to simply theatrical stupidity and move on with my day

Written by: Anas Abdullahi
Twitter: @a9united1

Review: ADAM A ZANGO brings NI DAKE MUN DACE to life

Filmmakers these days are finding it difficult to convince audience that Adam A Zango is still an irresistible Kannywood star capable of pursuing mainstream success. All they need is NI DAKE MUN DACE, one of the star’s most essential and captivating big-screen experience in recent years, and may be ever. He shows that he still has plenty of magnetism and charisma left, earning laughs with both verbal timing and physical humor. NI DAKE MUN DACE brings back the star we missed more than we might have thought.

NI DAKE MUN DACE has been a long-awaited film for several reasons. First, the industry is drowning in real romantic movies. Second, it has been the case over the years that the only productions capable of out-matching FKD productions in romantic genres are FKD themselves. Most important, however, is Adam A Zango’s long run of shabby films: what would NI DAKE MUN DACE do to fix that exhausting trend. With so much resting on the shoulders of the movie, it seems almost impossible that the film should collapse under the weight of these expectations. Rest assured!!! NI DAKE MUN DACE takes these expectations as a catapult to soar into the land of classic romantic cinema.

NI DAKE MUN DACE is not a film with deep message though it brings issues such as single parenting, loss of childhood illusions, the necessity of following your dreams, etc. People need jokes to laugh at and reasons to smile. NI DAKE MUN DACE is a pure entertainment- a pure escapist cinema at its best. Too much is at stake for the film and its talismanic hero. The film prefers remaining a feel-good fare, a visual feast in every frame no matter the mood on the screen. Even the first scene, the love-at-first-sight scene between Adam A Zango and Fati Ladan doesn’t gel with realism of our world but gives way to some beautiful moment.

The movie isn’t perfect, and maybe not even as well-executed as the productions’ bigger projects but in its strongest moments- and in that flawless first hour- it comes pretty close. What every love story needs is a terrific lead character, a beautiful world and genuine moments of wonder. Adam A Zango is outstanding; rest of Performances remain strong and attractive; the colourful set, and the impeccable cinematography that is awesome whenever it has freedom to be make up a beautiful world; the script filled with sweet dialogue and the directing that is stylish and having a good script sense create moments of genuine wonder. Yet those triumphs do not create a perfect story but a perfect romance. Yes, the story is not deep nor is it trying to be, and for a love story that’s just the point. Love story doesn’t require a complex story…. It requires that you create on-screen chemistry between your lead actors.

It is criminal that Zaharadeen Sani is such a small part of the movie, but that might be the price paid by the star vehicle- if Zaharadeen were around too much longer, Adam A Zango would definitely no longer be the main attraction. I hope he benefits from FKD experience as benefitted by many of the industry’s most important figures.

NI DAKE MUN DACE is not just about itself or the story it narrates, it is about FKD’s flight that sets the template for filmy romance over decade. It is daring in exploring man-woman relationship. The woman is straight out of planet FKD, too stunning as only Fati Ladan can be. The man is innocent, cute, intelligent and refreshing and he is bound to leave you with a smile on your face that will stretch from ear to ear- very much like the film is starring.

FKD Productions are truly the home of family entertainers. Ali Nuhu and his team have created a world almost tangible, place wonders inside and bless it with “again and again” rewatchabilty. All we can do is sit back, relish it and be grateful.

Reviewed by: Anas Abdullahi
Twitter: @a9united1